Children and Youth

Child and Youth Mental Health

Brief Services

Brief Services offer quick access to support in order to address the immediate needs of a child or youth. These services may be all the treatment that is required, or it may assist in identifying the need for further treatment or services such as counselling and therapy, or other community supports.

As part of Brief Services, Hands offers Walk-In Counselling Clinics for children, youth and families. Learn more about Hands’ Walk-In Counselling Clinics.

Crisis Services

Hands offers supports for children and youth who are experiencing a mental health crisis. Crisis Services offer immediate, time-limited support when there is an urgent situation or need. Hands’ Child and Family Therapists provide risk assessments, de-escalation, and will help to make appropriate connections to other supports and community services.

Mental Health Crisis Line For Children and Youth

Call 1.844.287.9072 to reach our confidential Mental Health Crisis Line for children and youth, their families, caregivers and service providers.

Troubled girl calling a hotline

  • Your call will be answered by a trained respondent 24/7.
  • We will listen and connect you to the right help.
  • We are here to help children and youth who are experiencing a mental health crisis, their parents, caregivers and service providers.
  • All calls are confidential.

Counselling and Therapy

Counselling and Therapy Services are offered in situations that require support beyond Brief Services. Counselling and therapy provide mental health supports for children, youth and their families who are experiencing mental health difficulties. Therapy is evidence-based and tailored to meet the needs of each child or youth and family. Culture, family and community are important to supporting these services and help determine the appropriate setting and frequency of service.

In partnership with Strongest Families, Hands also provides phone-based coaching to help parents support their children’s anxiety or behavioural challenges from the comfort of their home, including:

  • Parents Empowering Kids – Behaviour Difficulties Program (3-12 years of age): This program helps parents learn to deal with common childhood behaviour problems such as temper outbursts, not listening, verbal and physical aggression and difficulties paying attention.
  • Chase Worries Away – Anxiety Program (6-11 years of age): This program educates parents and children about anxiety and guides them as they learn relaxation skills and how to face worry in real life. The program typically deals with difficulties separating from loved ones, worry about performance, and specific fears.
  • Defeat Anxiety – Anxiety Program (12-17 years of age): This program educates youth and their parents about anxiety and guides them as they learn relaxation skills and how to face worry in real life. The program typically deals with difficulties worry about performance, social anxiety, and specific fears.

Family/Caregiver Skills Building and Support

Families have an important role to play in promoting and supporting the mental health of their family members. These services help the entire family to better understand, support and respond to the mental health needs of the child or youth. Family capacity building and support services may include: access to peer support, assistance in navigating pathways to care, and training to help families learn more about the mental health concern(s). Support services may be offered in a variety of locations and in partnership with other community agencies.

Current Skills Building and Support groups offered:

Intensive Treatment

Intensive Treatment Services help children and youth who have been diagnosed or identified with mental health concerns that affect their lives in multiple ways. Intensive treatment services include a set of supports that vary depending on the needs of the child, youth and family.

Hands’ Intensive Treatment Services include:

  • Home-based services;
  • Day treatment programs in partnership with local School Boards; and,
  • Hands’ Child and Youth Mental Health Treatment Centre, which provides short-term, residential treatment supports for youth (ages 12-16), who live in the Districts of Nipissing, Parry Sound and Muskoka.

Specialized Consultation and Assessments

Hands offers specialized consultation and assessments to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of a child or youth with mental health needs as part of their mental health treatment.

Targeted Prevention

Targeted prevention services focus on changing views and behaviours, building skills and abilities, as well as creating awareness and resiliency through information, education and programs. Targeted prevention aims to reach children and youth who are identified as “at-risk” of developing a mental health concern. Targeted Prevention may occur in a variety of settings, including: education, health and in the community.